Lucia Graves reports on the Energy Department’s loan guarantee program. I know I’ve read this in other places, but my instinct is/was not to automatically consider the Solyndra scandal as the norm.
The focus on Solyndra is not proportional to its impact, the executive summary says. The 1705 program constitutes just 1.7 percent of the federal government’s guarantee commitments across all agencies, and Solyndra’s guarantee of roughly a half-billion dollars is just 3 percent of that portfolio.
The study, which provides an in-depth analysis of the $16.1 billion in loan guarantees DOE allocated to 28 energy projects under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009, also found that the lower-risk guarantees far outweighed the higher-risk ones, with most of them going to electricity generation projects rather than manufacturing ventures. A full 87 percent of portfolio funds were directed toward projects that had minimal risk because buyers for their power output were required upfront.